Laura Ashley pays birthday divi

Laura Ashley is to pay its shareholders a special £3.7m dividend to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The clothing and interior furnishings retailer, which is majority owned by a Malaysian conglomerate MUI group, said yesterday it has decided to pay a special interim dividend of 0.5p per share for the year ended 25 January 2014. It was founded in 1953 by Laura Ashley and her husband Sir Bill Ashley, who started the business handprinting scarves in their London flat.